STANDISH – For a brief moment, Falmouth senior Tim Follo could see the finish line without defending champion Silas Eastman of Fryeburg Academy blocking his view.

Follo’s lead was short-lived, however, as Eastman responded to the surge and sprinted to the Western Maine Conference cross country championship Saturday afternoon on the campus of St. Joseph’s College.

“He’s a beast,” Follo said with admiration. “I didn’t expect to be able to outkick him.”

While Eastman won for a second straight year, the WMC crowned a new girls’ champion. Poland freshman Kristina Smith pulled away from defending champ Heather Evans of York and Kirstin Sandreuter of Greely to win by more than 13 seconds.

“I got pushed around a little bit when we first entered the woods,” Smith said. “It kind of motivated me.”

Smith took control after two miles and finished in 20 minutes, 27 seconds. Evans held off Sandreuter by six seconds for second place. Falmouth’s Madeline Roberts (20:57) was the only other female in the field of 81 to break 21 minutes.

Eastman, who ran just ahead of Follo and Jack Pierce of Merriconeag for most of the 5-kilometer course, finished in 16:37 and change, with Follo half a second behind. Pierce was third in 16:44.

Originally scheduled for Friday at Falmouth Community Park, the meet was moved because of rain and resulted in breezy and sunny conditions.

“It was nice to have someone running behind me and pushing me,” Eastman said. “You don’t slow down. … You’re being pushed the entire time.”

In team competition, Cape Elizabeth placed five girls among the top 23 — Ellen Best, Emma Inhorn, Noelle Webster, Catherine Tierney and Eva Brydson — to repeat as champion with 68 points to runner-up Falmouth’s 81. Greely was third of 13 teams with 89.

For boys, Follo led teammates Thomas Edmonds (9), Jay Lesser (14), Henry Briggs (16) and Conor McGrory (20) to a 61-86 victory over North Yarmouth Academy. Greely (122) won a close battle for third among 15 schools over Freeport (123) and York (124).

The Western Maine regional finals are scheduled for Saturday at Twin Brook Recreation Area in Cumberland.

“I think everyone’s going to come out with something different and there’s going to be different girls there, too, who will push us in different ways,” said York’s Evans.

Staff Writer Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or at:

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